-- Feb 7, 1999
[Apostle Marriner W. Merrill Diary] Franklin. I left at 9 a. m. and came to Richmond and gave the check to Charley, President of the Richmond Co-op, to apply on the indebtedness of the Co-op, and took receipt of deposit @ 8 percent per annum. Left for Salt Lake at 2:15 p. m. as per request by telegram from President Snow yesterday. merrill
-- Thursday, Feb 8, 1999
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Washington, D.C.
I wrote to President Lorenzo Snow.
Bp. H. B. Clawson and I had a nice visit with Gen. G. H. Williams. He promised to help us all he could consistently. We went to the Grand Theatre and where they had a variety of good things. I was laughing from Beginning to end. jhsd
-- Feb 10, 1900; Saturday
Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow, [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith were at the office. At 11 o'clock Messrs. Frisby and Cole of the "Hedrickite" organization called at the office according to previous appointment.
Mr. Cole stated, in reply to a question, that the people of Independence [Missouri] were non-progressive, everything there was lying dormant, and a gloomy discouraging feeling was hovering over that part of the country. President Cannon being present, also Bishop William B. Preston, President Snow requested Messrs Cole and Frisby to state the object of their coming here for the benefit of all who were present. Mr. Cole remarked that they thought they had been moved upon by the proper spirit to come to Utah to see what, if anything, can be done about building the Temple at Jackson county, M[iss]o[uri]. The "Hedrickite" church, he stated, believed that they were the guardians of the Temple lot in Independence, and as such they felt that they could say that the Lord had instructed them to come and invite a delegation from Utah to meet with a delegation from their church and a delegation from the Reorganites, at Independence for the purpose of trying to come to some understanding as to what ought to be done. The Temple grounds consist of about three acres; the north western corner had been cut off by a public roadway. This three acres of ground is not all of the Temple lot which covered about 63 acres originally as acquired for the Church by Bishop Edward Partridge, but this three-acre tract is the crowning point of that property. Mr. Cole stated that the "Hedrickites" had set out trees and improved the property a little which had the effect of increasing the taxes, which amount to between forty and fifty dollars a year. A delegation from the "Hedrickite" church had waited on the Reorganite leaders and they had promised to send a delegation to such a conference. Joseph and Alexander Smith and Edmund L. Kelley had consented to this. There was no basis of agreement talked about, everything was to be left to the twelve men representing the three organizations. It was understood between the "Hedrickites" and the Reorganites that whatever might be done by this proposed delegation should not be binding, but that each delegation should report to a conference of the several churches
and let the conferences act on their several reports. In answer to a question these gentlemen, Messrs. Cole and Frisby, stated that they had no affiliation with the Reorganites; they had simply gone to them as they now had come to the Presidency, and for that matter they could have just as well have come here first. In their conversation with the Reorganites the question of authority was not referred to. Mr. Frisby stated that the great difference between their organization and the Reorganized church on doctrine was authority, organization, in fact almost everything, with the exception of marriage, on that point they agreed. However, while the Reorganites held that the revelation on plural marriage was not given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, the Hedrickites believed that it was given through him, but it came at a time that was most unfavorable, and while the Prophet was the author of that document, they held that he was not inspired at the time that he received it, and they did not accept it as a revelation from God. Mr. Cole remarked that when talking with an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Independence, on the subject of plural marriage, the elder suggested that the Lord might have given this principle as a chastisement, and he, Mr. Cole, thought the expression a very happy one, and felt that this explanation was in accordance with his own views.
President Snow remarked that he could see one difficulty in the way of effecting a union such as that desired by the visitors. Said he, "the Reorganites had an organization consisting of a presidency, apostles and presiding bishopric, and so have we, and it would be entirely out of the question to combine these organizations represented by two bodies known as First Presidencies, twenty-four apostles, etc." Mr. Frisby replying to this said that provided the proposed delegations met together, the Lord might enable them to work together for the carrying out of this purpose, that is, the building of the Temple; and if the Temple could be built, his idea was that the Savior would come to the Temple and he would set all things in order, and set everything right, even now, he remarked, the indications are that great things are present even at our doors.
President Cannon said he could see no objection to our acceding to this proposition since the action, whatever it may be, would not be binding on any organization, but President Snow felt that he would like to see an effort on the part of the Reorganites to make right a very serious wrong. "They tried their best," said President Cannon, "to have me cast out of Congress." Mr. Frisby suggested that notwithstanding all their bitterness and opposition in the past, he thought we should continue to try to convert them for he had hopes that the Reorganite people would yet acknowledge the weakness of their cause, and, in fact, he had already seen a disposition on their part to yield in some things, they felt glad when the proposition for a joint committee was mentioned to them and they were invited to join in this movement; in his opinion they were beginning to feel altogether different from what they had in the past, and he hoped his observations were right. President Snow said that he most certainly would be in favor of
such a movement if the prospects were favorable for a union. Referring to a remark made by Mr. Cole, to the effect that Joseph Smith [III] of the Reorganized church was an honest man, President Smith stated that he hoped such was the case, but he had taken such a position in relation to his father and the work the Prophet introduced that he felt that evidence of repentance was required on young Joseph's part in order to make the statement one that he could believe. Mr. Frisby stated that at times he had felt that Joseph Smith of Lamoni was dishonest, but of late he had been impressed with the idea that Joseph had been led by William W. Blair, who, in his lifetime was really the head of the Reorganized church, so completely did he dominate Joseph. Mr. Cole said, referring to the visit of the Hedrickite brethren to Lamoni [Iowa], that Alexander Smith was so elated that he was melted into tears. Mr. Frisby explained that this proposition is felt by the members of the Hedrickite church to be urged upon them by the Lord, they being the custodians of the Temple grounds, and they felt satisfied that they were moved upon aright and had faith in the outcome. They did not feel to say that the Reorganites would give up everything; neither did they feel like telling everything they feel that they know in regard to that matter, if they did this there would perhaps be but little or nothing for the general committee to do. "Then," said he, "suppose the Reorganites should not be willing to concede everything which might be expected of them and the Hedrickites and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could unite, even then could not we carry out this work without them?"
President Snow said the members of the Reorganized church do not believe in Temple work, but Mr. Frisby thought that they might be led to believe, and he could say for his own people that they believed that the Temple would be built there in Independence, and believed that money could not induce them to part with the land although they had received offers even at one time as high as $100,000. The Temple lot was at present held by Elder Hill, as trustee-in-trust, appointed by the Court of Missouri at the request of the members of the "Hedrickite" church. Mr. Cole remarked that he and Elder Frisby had not come out here on the spur of the moment, they had had this step in mind for more than a year and it had been thoroughly discussed by them.
President Joseph F. Smith inquired if the President of the Hedrickite church was recognized by the members as the mouthpiece of the Lord, and received the reply that he was not so considered. The members get together and pray to the Lord in a united way, and the influence of the Spirit bears testimony to them what might be true or what they should do. Six of the elders got together on the particular occasion when the matter of a committee was discussed, and all had agreed that this step was the proper thing to do. President Snow told them that he was of the opinion that the time was fast approaching in his opinion, when the Lord would require the building of the Temple at Jackson county, but it would certainly require means to accomplish it. The Latter-day Saints had to some extent been neglectful of the law of tithing and it
was through obedience to this law and that of consecration that the land was to be sanctified, and it would be done in no other way. He was happy to say that there had been a marked increase and improvement in this direction among the Saints. The law of tithing he regarded as the stepping stone to the higher law of consecration. Referring to the main question President Snow said that he could not at the present time answer whether the Lord would require of the Saints to see if a reconciliation could be effected between the Church and the Reorganites or not, for his mind was not clear regarding it; but he was not unmindful of the fact that to send four men as a committee to represent us would not in any way commit the Church to anything which might be said or done. He feared, however, that we might just as well undertake to unite with twenty-four of the Utah sectarian ministers as to try to form a reconciliation with the Reorganized church. "But," said he, "as you brethren come in the name of the Lord, I am willing to consider the proposition and see if there be any reasonable chance to act upon it."
President George Q. Cannon added that while he was willing to act upon the proposition, he had very little faith in it for the reason that the vital question of authority would lie in the path. At the same time there was nothing impossible with the Lord. Elder Cole remarked that if he did not believe the Lord was in this he could not have undertaken it.
President Snow invited President Smith to express his views and in response he said he thought it was premature to discuss the details of the proposition here, as that was the part of the general committee's business; and he thought that the object of their coming together would be to try to convert one another. Brother Frisby thought that would be the case. Continuing, President Smith said, two wings are now here, but when the third wing comes in, it will be found that a different state of things will exist, as they will be full of the spirit of contention and argument. Joseph Smith of the Reorganized church had remarked to him upon one occasion, that his brothers when visiting thsi city found so much here in favor of plural marriage that there was no wonder that David lost his mind, but so far as he himself was concerned, he preferred to take the other view, and this spirit which he possesses said President Smith, would be met with in the committee; nevertheless he was perfectly willing that the delegation should meet although he had no faith in the outcome of their joint labors. Notwithstanding this view of the matter, he wished it understood that he fully appreciated the hopeful feelings expressed by Elders Cole and Frisby.
At the request of President Snow, Bishop; William B. Preston stated that he felt that we needed a little time to think about it and Messrs. Cole and Frisby assented to the suggestion.
Elder Frisby declared that he now felt impressed to reveal another point indicating a yielding on the part of the Reorganites which was this: They had now virtually acknowledged that Joseph, their president, is not the one referred to as the one mighty and strong, in the revelation, which should be raised up. When he was
questioned in the court in the case involving the Temple lot, and was asked if he was that particular person, he answered, "they say I am." And he was so held forth by the members of his church, but now he does not claim to be that man, and Bishop Edmund L. Kelley, as well as their other leading men, now declare that he is not that man. Mr. Frisby said he did not feel like divulging anything more in this lien of letting the Reorganites down, he thought it was their business to do that themselves; but he did believe that a union could be effected and it was acting on that feeling that he came here.
After further discussion of a minor importance, President Snow informed the visiting gentlemen that he did not feel to act in regard to the matter without laying it before the quorum of the Twelve Apostles. And as it would take about ten days to bring the brethren together this question was postponed until a quorum could be reached, which he thought could not be before the 20th. With this understanding these parties withdrew in company of Bishop Preston, who was instructed by the Presidency to afford them every accommodation at the expense of the Church.
Telegrams were sent requesting Elders Heber J. Grant and Rudger Clawson, who were in Arizona, to return to Salt Lake City by the 18th. They were at the time at Thatcher, Arizona. FirstPresidencyandQuorumoftheTwelveminutes
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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